Accelerating the Development and Practical Application of Anti-Infective Antibodies

Institution: Department I of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Cologne
Applicant: PD Dr. Dr. Philipp Schommers
Funding line:
Else Kröner Clinician Scientist Professorships
Philipp Schommers carrying out an experiment in labs at the University of Cologne

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have revolutionized the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer in the last two decades. Lately, an increasing number of mAbs are also being developed which are directly targeted against viruses and bacteria. These anti-infective mAbs have unique attributes that make them promising agents for novel treatment and prevention strategies against a broad spectrum of viruses and bacteria. However, physicians often lack experience with this new class of drugs, which hampers a broader clinical application. Moreover, there is an urgent need for new antibodies that combat an even broader spectrum of pathogens, are able to prevent resistances, and prove to be safe and effective in clinical trials. Philipp Schommers is therefore pursuing the following approaches within the scope of the project. The promotion of clinical competence in dealing with anti-infective mAbs through comprehensive training and mentoring programs. The identification of vulnerable targets on the surface of bacteria and viruses in order to be able to attack them using new antibodies. In addition, Dr. Schommers is planning to set up a clinical trial platform to rapidly test new mAb-based therapeutic strategies on patients.